Britain’s bookmakers fear a Royal hammering this weekend, when a horse owned by the Queen lines up as hot fav for the Investec Derby at Epsom.
Carlton House, her first Derby runner for 30 years, was given to the Queen as a gift from Dubai ruler Sheikh Mohammed, and has been hot favourite for the world’s most famous flat race since his win in the leading Derby trial, the Dante Stakes at York last month.
“Her Majesty has been trying to win the Derby for decades, but has never got closer than her second place with Aureole in 1953. However, she has her best chance ever this year, and Carlton House remains hot favourite despite an injury scare earlier in the week,” said Coral’s David Stevens.
“Carlton House is trained by the most successful current Derby trainer, Sir Michael Stoute, who has already won the race five times, is ridden by last year’s winning jockey, Ryan Moore, and has won the best trial for the race, so he really does tick all the boxes. He was 20-1 for the Derby after his first win at Newbury last October, but those odds were slashed to 2-1 after his win at York, and he is likely to start the hottest favourite since Frankie Dettori won his first Derby on Authorized in 2007,” added Stevens.
“The presence of the Royal runner has greatly increased interest in this year’s Derby, and it would be entirely fitting in this Royal Wedding year if the Queen could win her first Derby. I’m sure she will even enjoy a small flutter on the big race like millions of her subjects, and although it could cost the bookies millions, we would certainly pay out with a smile on this occasion,” said Stevens.